National

PM Modi's mother casts her vote

Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mother Hiraba today cast her vote at a poll booth located at Aryabhatt High School in Gandhinagar.

She was accompanied by her younger son Pankaj Modi and other family members.
After casting her vote, the prime minister's mother, who is in her 90s, showed her inked finger to mediapersons outside the poll booth.

"May God bless Gujarat," she told the reporters while emerging out of the poll booth.

She was among the early voters, who also included former chief minister Anandiben Patel.

Patel, who is not contesting the election, cast her vote at a polling booth in Ahmedabad's Ghatlodia Assembly constituency, from where she was an MLA.

This time, the BJP has fielded Bhupendra Patel from the seat, who is pitted against Congress' Shashikant Patel.

"I am sure that BJP will achieve the target it has set for itself and the party will again form the government. Our candidate will get more votes than what I had got, and the Patidar factor is not going to affect us," Patel told reporters after casting her vote.

The voting for the second and final phase of Gujarat assembly elections is underway today on 93 seats of North and Central Gujarat.

After an acrimonious campaign, around 2.22 crore voters would be exercising their franchise today to choose between the two main contenders, the BJP and the Congress.

A total of 851 candidates are in fray for the second phase.

The first phase of voting for the 182-member House, held on December 9, covered 89 seats.

The election is being seen as a "prestige battle" for Prime Minister Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi.

In the 2012 assembly polls, the BJP had won 115 seats, while the Congress bagged 61. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18. -PTI

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